It’s Saturday. That means some slug-a-bed we all know and (sort of) like slept in.
So did I. 😉 TGIS!
Today is overcast, but when the sun finds its way to my little cell here in downtown Purgatory, the light is different these mornings (and evenings). I will never forget seeing a moose beside my driveway one morn about this time of year when daughter and I went out to hop in the car for school.
The sun was shining low between buildings, blinding, but illuminated the beast’s legs as he turned and dashed away from the busy street where city men were working and running an enormous generator. The moose apparently followed the wrong generated scent for Ms. Moose — or for food (unless honey-dip doughnuts was one of his irresistible faves).
My mind could not process what an always downtown-living girl was seeing run back down the trail — a “pick-up truck with legs.” (Indeed, moose are rather large.) Daughter swears she saw a rack on him. I don’t doubt it. The sun was in my eyes and he was running by then, so I didn’t catch that, but my mind would’ve thought, “a pick-up truck with legs, oh, and antlers” (even were I not blond). It’s just too unusual, even for here, though I once of a late night heard some low bovine noise down near the river.
35 years here, and I still feel no nativeness. Had this river been more like my growing-up one in the harbor town, I might have acclimated, but it was totally polluted when we first arrived — we could watch washing machines soap suds running down to the dam. No one fished, then, and this river is still fairly unboated, untubed, unkayaked. It’s a lot cleaner, now, though.
Maybe the other river will always be “my” river. I fished, there. I swore at crabs, there. My mom went into it with me, as did some of many little kids. It’s where I became a boy for one day. Indeed, not one other neighborhood girl was daft enough to plunge into its freezing water from a dock that was relatively unwatched. My molecules, every one of them, still remember the temp of that water. I gained some street respect that day, though. Totally worth it. Never doing it again, though.
This river is, of course, 12-ish miles inland and likely unconnected to my river that connects to the Atlantic. That means I’ve seen a lot of wildlife on and near its banks all these years. It’s been really exciting at times, and at all times, I feel very lucky to live here. And who knows, maybe some of the native Americans (who lived on/from this river) and I share the same blood. It’s really hard to access that sort of information, but I think overall that since we all started from the same folks, we all share at least some molecules.
It was 100% weird to see cormorants in the trees overhanging this river for about a week a few years ago. There was some construction work on the bay and beyond, which must’ve routed them from their usual haunts. It was exciting to see them, “Ah, come to visit an old admirer, have ye?” but also sad. There could be no other reason for their leaving native water for this one.
They moved off upriver, and where to from there, I don’t know, but I imagine the kingfishers and Coopers hawks and endless other birds (and turtles, frogs, muskrat and beavers, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, opossum, deer and possibly a coyote) here marveled at their presence as well! Hopefully, no bears did. Not at all thrilled with that possibility! Moose, okay — if encountered, I can hide under their legs and run at the same speed, thereby confusing them, but bears — nope, too low to the ground and our immediate surroundings have endless hide-y trees!
Years ago, husband got tired of walking on acorns all over the river side of the yard, so he put up his 30ft ladder and nailed a wooden box he’d made onto the oak tree, and put hundreds of collected acorns in it. What he was thinking would happen, didn’t. Rather, every year since then, about twice every Spring and/or Summer, something tries to nest there. It gets all full of nice green branches, and is quickly abandoned (in the rains, no doubt), and all the greens turn gray and droopy.
Late in this past Spring, I noted while dog-sitting Smiley (Jack Russell terrier) out on the deck, that her eyes were riveted on the old oak. I looked up to where she was staring, and it took a moment to figure out what I was looking at — there was one arm extended as was a leg, out over the edges of the not large acorn box. The creature shifted position which revealed his head and then his tail — a raccoon. He spent the day there, snoozing in the sun. Why have I never thought of doing this??
I might go have a property-walk out there, now that the seasons are changing. It doesn’t smell like the sea, and thankfully, not often like a river, but it’ll do. There were river otters here, once. Wish I’d see one of those, always I wish that — but I’ve conversed with a young hawk who found me hilariously unthreatening, so I can’t complain. Hopefully, we’ll be able to deal non-lethally but effectively with the red squirrel who found the mama-robin-hole into our garage.. I should probably be more afraid of red squirrels than of bear. What little nuisances they are. Son is going to put up two boards to cover the entrance/exit, and the moment I see him (her?) in the driveway, I’ll run out and shut the garage door that’s been open all summer for the robin. (From my lips to God’s ears, please! He — or she! — cannot abide with us!)
In another 35 years or so, I might acclimate. Unless a bear finds something bearworthy here in the meanwhile… 😮